Category Minority Veterans

Headshot of U.S. Army veterans Rankin.

THE GAME OF HIS LIFE PRODUCED MAJOR RESULTS

Larry Rankin faced a big decision after graduating from high school in Michigan more than two decades ago. Go to college? “I wasn’t ready for college,” he said. OK, then, follow in his Navy dad’s footsteps by joining a branch of the military? “Not for me,” Rankin said. “Never.” Then, a funny thing happened on […]

A soldier walks in one of Saddam Hussein’s former palaces.

WHEN THEY CELEBRATED HANUKKAH, OTHER JEWISH HOLIDAYS IN SADDAM’S OLD DIGS

Shortly after U.S. troops captured Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in December 2003, a Jewish-American woman serving in the U.S. military received a care package from home. It included a menorah, candles, and a “Happy Hanukkah” card. That she received it isn’t unusual. Military personnel frequently receive packages from family members or friends in time for […]

Feature art for WordPress article, headshot of servicemember Kanwarpreet Singh.

WITH CALVET’S HELP, SIKH SOLDIER FINDS NATIONAL GUARD RELIGIOUSLY ACCOMMODATING

When Kanwarpreet Singh came to the United States from India four years ago, he knew he wanted to serve his new country. Military service, he said, is important to members of the Sikh faith no matter where they live. However, he would need some help to join any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, and […]

Group shot of the Veterans Division team at the CalVet Leadership Summit 2022.

VETERANS DAY IN THE BOOKS? AT CALVET, EVERY DAY IS A NEW PAGE WHEN IT COMES TO SERVING THEM

The parades and picnics are over. Speeches made and proclamations read. The American flags that lined the streets throughout the country and California are neatly folded, stored until the next national holiday. Veterans Day – America’s annual day of thanking veterans for defending this country and the freedoms our Constitution guarantees – is in the […]

The American and Californian flags.

CALVET’S VETERANS DAY POSTER DEFINES OUR MISSION AND PURPOSE

As a nation, we rely upon our armed forces to protect and defend the Constitution and the rights and freedoms it guarantees. Our servicemembers risk their lives for the reward of maintaining our democracy; even putting this solemn duty ahead of their own wellbeing, families, and loved ones. Yet, over the decades, veterans have had […]

Head shot of Shadowdancer Ortega Melendez, Chumash native and U.S. veteran.

CELEBRATING NATIVE AMERICAN DAY AT CAPITOL TODAY, AND EVERY DAY AT VENTURA VETERANS HOME

Today, hundreds of Native Americans representing many tribes and nations throughout California will converge on the State Capitol’s West Lawn to celebrate their heritage, cultures, and contributions. What began under Governor Culbert Olsen as “Indian Day” in 1939, became “California Indian Day” under Governor Ronald Reagan in 1968, is now “California Native American Day.” It […]

Incarcerated veterans listen to benefits presentation at Mule Creek State Prison presentation.

THE ‘THANK-YOU’ NOTES THAT MEAN SO MUCH TO CALVET’S ANALYSTS HELPING INCARCERATED VETERANS

Steven Smith scrolled through his emails one day a few months ago, and came across one that simply moved him. Smith, a United States Navy Veteran, is among the seven veterans claims analysts working directly with incarcerated veterans in California’s 35 state prisons through CalVet’s Justice Involved Veterans Initiative. The analysts help veterans—many imprisoned for […]

Words only, AAPI Heritage Month.

ASIAN AMERICAN PACIFIC ISLANDER HERITAGE MONTH:  TWO VETERANS SEE IT AS A TIME TO EDUCATE

As Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month concludes, CalVet would like to introduce two distinguished American military veterans. Erin Dacumos Khanna attended the United States Air Force Academy, graduating in 2002 before embarking on a military career during which she rose to the rank of captain. Fessal Aziz served in the U.S. Marine Corps […]

Deputy Secretary Virginia Wimmer speaks to a reporter regarding the launch of the clothing drive.

OPERATION DRESS CODE DONATION DRIVE RUNS UNTIL JUNE 2

Operation Dress Code is now accepting donations of new and gently used business clothing and accessories to distribute to women veterans during a boutique event in Walnut Creek on June 11. CalVet Women Veterans Affairs is organizing the clothing drive and one-day boutique event. First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom helped kick off this year’s effort. […]

CalVet logo and a headshot of Virginia Wimmer with the American and California flags behind her.

SIX MONTHS IN, DEPUTY SECRETARY WIMMER HAS VISION FOR WOMEN VETERANS AFFAIRS

In August 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Virginia Wimmer as CalVet’s Deputy Secretary of Women Veterans Affairs at CalVet. A veteran who spent 26 years in the United States Air Force, Wimmer left the service in 2012. She then began her new career as a veteran service officer with Solano County and then was appointed […]